Thursday, December 9, 2010

Techie Tips for Bloggers!

Imagine you are checking your email, and you click on a new message from a reader who has just left a comment on your latest blog post.  The comment is personal, polite, interesting, and may even have a great question or two in it.  You click reply and happily begin responding to the reader, eventually ending up with a paragraph - or two.  You move your cursor to the "SEND" button, and... WHAT?!?!? The reply-to email address is "noreply-comment@blogger.com" ?!?!? That's right. You've just spent 10 minutes composing a detailed response to a fantastic reader of yours, only their email is lost... in cyberspace. You have no clue what it actually is.  Well, shoot
This has happened to me several times, and although I eventually learned to check and ensure that there is an actual email address in the "To" field before composing my reply email message, I still slip up a time or two.

If you're a blogger who leaves comment after comment, but receives no replies back via email, then you are one of them; you need to set up your blogger account with an email address so your favorite bloggers can get back with you after you've left a comment! By doing this, you'll increase your number of faithful followers and build on blogging buddyships.  To learn how to do this and more, check out Lauren's post on Blogger "housekeeping" tips!  I - and other fellow bloggers - will thank you for making these all-important adjustments to your account settings! Because after all... we all love our readers and we especially love our commenters - and we wanna let you know! 


On several occasions, I have been asked about the ultra fab-O fonts I use in all of the graphics I create for my blog. This short tutorial for windows users will explain where to find unique fonts, how to download and install them for use in computer programs such as Microsoft Word and image editing software like Photoshop, and a brief summary of how to create a custom image of your own, using your brand-spankin' new and super neat-o font! I'm sure I'm probably committing some type of blog designer crime, but I don't see any wrong in helping others to learn how to create gorgeous graphics on their own, for free.  Ya ready?

Step 1:  Google "free font downloads".  Several sites will come up; my personal favorite is http://www.dafonts.com.  Search the website for tons of fantastic fonts (hint: you can download as many as you like!) Once you have found a font that you love,  click "download":

(I'm going with "English Essay" for this tutorial.)  After you click "Download", you will be prompted to "open" or "save"; click "Save".

Next, you will choose the location where you would like to save your new font.  This isn't a big deal; just choose a place you'll remember.  For me, it's always "my documents". Select your location of choice, then click "Save".  Your font will instantly download.  You'll hear the little Windows "chirpy" noise when it completes, which is usually less than a second or two.

Next, go fetch your new font!  Open the location where you saved the font.  Once you're there, you should see a Zip folder with the font name underneath.



Double click the Zip folder to open it; you will see a single file that's unable to be opened.  You need to "unzip" all of the individual files.  In order to do that, click the font file to highlight, then click "Extract All Files" on the left hand side of the screen.


The Zipped Folders Extraction Wizard window will pop up; simply click "next".


The next step of the wizard is to choose where you would like to save all of the extracted files.  Again, it's important to save these where you can easily find them.  Choose your location (it's also o.k. to go with the default that's already there for you) and click "next".


Ensure that the box beside "Show extracted files" is checked and click "finish".


After the extraction wizard finishes doing it's thing-a-ling, a window will automatically pop up displaying the extracted file(s).  Some fonts have several files, others have only one - what you're looking for is the actual font file, which looks like this:


Right click the font file and click "copy".


After copying your font file, you need to locate the master "Fonts" folder to paste it in.  To do this, Go to "My Computer". Locate the Local Disk (C:) drive, and double click to open it.


Once you are in the C:drive, select and open the "Windows" folder by double-clicking.


Locate and open the "Font" folder.
Right click anywhere between the font files, where there is white space.  Click "paste".  Your new, totally cool font is now installed and ready to use!


 

You can now use the new font in your computer programs.  For instance, in Word:



And now, a brief summary of how to create graphics using your new fonts:

1. Open up a photo editing program like Photoshop or Microsoft Paint.
2. Create a new blank file.
3. Insert a text box, type using your new fonts (which are completely formattable - color, size, etc.)
4. When you're finished creating your graphic, save as a JPG file.
5. Use your graphic like you would any other photo!

For further detail on uploading custom graphics for blogging layouts, I recommend Googling or using your blog hosts' help feature. - those are the ways I've learned the ins and outs. I'm STILL learning.

 
Finally, in the spirit of the ongoing 25 Days of Christmas hosted by Star and Jmo, here is a quick list of my favorite Christmas activities:

1. Eating Food. Nom. (Chocolate and other sugary treats are my #1 priority!)
2. Drinking Hot Cocoa with peppermint. I cannot drink this after Christmas for some reason.
3. Listening to Christmas Tunage.  Check out http://www.softrock933.com for Christmas Songs broadcast live 24/7 from Columbus, Ohio!
4. Decorating.  Pretty lights, gorgeous ornaments, glittery accents - I love it all!
5. Wrapping Gifts. For some reason, I love this way more than the actual shopping! It's stress relieving.
6. Sharing Gifts with others.  I'm way more into giving than getting - honestly!
7. Hangin' with the fam.  For good laughs, good stories, good times, good memories.

That's it (finally!) for today! Happy *almost* weekend!
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8 comments:

Lindsey said...

you rock! i love this step by step process - hopefully its lindsey proof... but trust me girl - if its not i will be emailing you in a panic asking for you to help me out!

Kerri said...

Oh Stephanie...you are the BEST! Thanks for doing this post! I need to get to the bus stop...but I will for sure be checking back in this evening!! So excited to learn something! Thanks again!!
It's like your Christmas gift to us! :)

Ana said...

Um...was the noreply@blogger.com me???

Brittany said...

Great description!! I just LOVE different fonts!

chocoholic said...

Thanks for the awesome tips!

Ashley said...

The font instructions are fantastic! I just downloaded a bunch of cute fonts! Thanks for sharing with us!

Kerri said...

Thanks for the step by step...I just might be able to do this!

Just wondering if you write your blog posts in word? Because, the fonts don't go into blogspot, right?

emily said...

i was a 'no-reply' emailer but didn't know it!!!! thanks for fixing me up - i didn't even know it was possible to respond to a comment via email!

another perk of a blogger meet up! :)